Think back to when you were in school, and you had a big exam coming up and a lot of studying to do. How did you prepare?
Did you make socializing a priority and then have to cram in as much knowledge as you could right before the test? Arriving on test day sweating and nervous? Or did you spend time each day studying and reviewing what you had just learned in class? Able to come into the exam with confidence?
God has tests for us, and those can be seen in prophecies about the events leading to the return of Jesus Christ. There will be pressure to change and abandon what we believe and know to be true and to compromise. It will be hard. The question is, are we studying and preparing now so that we can pass those tests?
We study the Bible for many reasons. In particular, to understand what God commands us to do and to accurately follow those commands. The timing of the Day of Pentecost is an example. By careful study, we can calculate the precise passage of time and keep Pentecost on the correct day, but Pentecost itself carries another meaning. It was the day that God granted the gift of the Holy Spirit to those first brethren He had called to His Church.
So, how does God choose who He’s going to call at this time in history?
“For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty…,” 1 Corinthians 1:26, NKJV.
God chooses people to fit His plan. In most professions, when you go to work in a new job, especially in a new field of work, you’re paired with a trainer or preceptor. They are there to provide the example to follow so you can learn the job correctly and become a profitable employee. In the Church of God, our trainer is Christ, the only perfect example of a human life. We are called to study God’s Word, the record of His example, so that we will know what is expected of us.
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession,” Hebrews 4:12-14.
Events in the world will transpire, and as time goes on, we will be tested. We’ll have to give an account to Christ Himself of how we handle these tests. What are we going to do? Are we going to give up the things we have learned and compromise? Or will we hold fast to God’s truth?
We know about the end times, what to expect, and what we should be doing. It’s time to put our noses back into the textbook of God’s Word and study it. No cramming at the last minute for us! By studying God’s Word regularly, and whether sooner or later, we can be ready when the test comes!
by Bill Hendricks